Three Democrats in the race for presiding commissioner nomination

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Three Lafayette County candidates are vying for the Democratic candidacy slot for presiding commissioner, the only race for local government that will be contested on the Aug. 3 primary ballot. Those running for the position are Adam Pavlica of Bates City, Robert (Bob) Estill of Lexington, and Bud Jones of Odessa. Incumbent presiding commissioner, Jim Strodtman has decided to retire at the end of his term.

Adam Pavlica

Pavlica -- who lives about five miles south of Bates City and works for a tow truck service in Oak Grove -- said he is running for presiding commissioner because he can promise real results to problems that arise in the county.

His working-class background shows he knows how to fix problems and has the initiative to get work done. He also believes he can provide the county with practical leadership, he said.

"I want a government for the citizens, where all blue-collar people have a voice and will be heard," he commented.

In his race for presiding commissioner, he would listen to what the people want to see accomplished in the county, and then work to accomplish such tasks. He would like public input to play a larger role in county government leadership, he said.

As presiding commissioner, Pavlica would also like to "get back to basic services and tighten the budget." He believes in fixing existing problems and making repairs that are needed before beginning new projects, he said.

Pavlica said he would like the public to know that he will "work hard for the families of Lafayette County because they deserve a solid oversight for their tax dollars."

Robert (Bob) Estill

Bob Estill of Lexington said he is running for presiding commissioner because he wants to bring new ideas to the commission and inspire the county's public servants to voice their own ideas about what county government can do for its people.

He feels his experience as a carpenter, construction manager, business owner and former mayor of Lexington enables him to have an overall insight into the situations that may come before the commission that could benefit county administrative functions.

Estill has many years experience in public service, including work in contract administration and ownership of construction businesses, two terms with the Lexington City Council, and one term as mayor of Lexington. Estill now owns his own business, Creative Ceilings, Inc., a ceiling renovation business that caters to several states.

"My views on planning and zoning issues facing the county are that our county's growth must be economically managed," Estill commented.

He would like to see another industrial park added to the I-70 corridor, and feels the Odessa shopping center should be supported and county farmland protected.

Estill also believes tax incentives can be beneficial to the county.

"We learned from Kansas City that refusing to give tax incentives caused businesses to relocate in Kansas, where city planners recognized that tax incentives bring in revenue through sales, property and employee income tax. Increased revenue results in better rural roads, greater police presence and retention of law enforcement officers and other public employees."

Bud Jones

Bud Jones resides in rural Odessa and is news editor of The Odessan newspaper. Through his career in journalism, he has been sitting in on commission meetings for more than 13 years, which he says has given him a deep understanding of county government and how it works. It has also allowed him to develop relationships with commissioners Gil Rector and Tracy Dyer, as well as with other county officials and employees, and the road districts and municipal agencies in the county.

"Seeing the discussions and decisions that are made in the commission meetings has given me an understanding of the position of presiding commissioner, and all it entails," Jones said.

Jones also commented that he believes the office of commissioner is no place for a highly-partisan perspective. "I am running on the Democratic ticket, but I am not a highlypartisan person," he said. "I can work with people of all parties, beliefs and backgrounds. I have the initiative, leadership, communication skills and understanding of the presiding commissioner's duties to do the job and to do it well."

Other races

The Democratic slot for presiding commissioner is the only contested local race on the primary election ballot. Positions on the Democratic ballot that are not contested include Kellie Wingate Ritchie for county prosecuting attorney, Lori Fiegenbaum for county collector and Randall Wayne Shackelford for associate circuit judge, Division III.

Positions on the Republican ballot that are not contested include John E. Frerking for associate circuit judge, Division II; Harold Hoflander for presiding commissioner; Deana Aversman for circuit court clerk; Linda Niendick for for county clerk; Patsy Olvera for recorder of deeds; and Cherie Mason for county auditor.

The primary election will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 3. The county clerk's office will be open Saturday, July 31 from 8 a.m. -- noon for absentee voting.

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